SHOW ME the evidence for disqualification!
In a new twist to the controversial running of the 30th Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Lord Michael Taylor said yesterday he would be appealing the decision of the Barbados Turf Club’s (BTC) stewards to disqualify his “winning” horse, Show Me The Money.
Lord Taylor told the Daily Nation yesterday that he wanted to have a thorough look at all the available video footage from last Saturday’s 1 800 metres race at the Garrison Savannah that attracted entrants from Canada, the United States, St Kitts and Barbados.
“I have no axe to grind and I am not vengeful and have no dispute with the stewards, but we are going to appeal the decision of the stewards,” he said.
The prominent horse-owner, who is also a BTC director, pointed out that under the rules he had seven days to appeal but would be lodging his appeal to the BTC’s appellate stewards within the next 24 hours.
“I’m not laying blame at anyone and I’m prepared to abide by the rules of the Turf Club, but it would be foolhardy of me, once I’m party to all the evidence which I’m gathering, not to explore the legal process which is opened to all horse owners,” he said.
“It is incumbent on me, in fairness to my trainer, my jockey, my groom and all my staff, to investigate thoroughly the circumstances surrounding the case and then make a judgment as to whether it was fair or otherwise,” he added.
Show Me The Money crossed the finish line well ahead of the other horses. However, the connections of one of the race favourites, Apostle, lodged an objection against champion jockey Jalon Samuel.
The stewards found Samuel guilty of “careless riding” and placed Show Me The Money behind Apostle, who had finished second last.
“While I respect the decision of the stewards and it would be terrible for me to cast judgment, it doesn’t stop me from questioning their decision if the evidence shows conflict with their decision,” Lord Taylor said.
“This is a major incident, a most unusual thing that has happened. The horse won the race on merit, whatever the circumstances, but if it is proven to be correct that the jockey infringed the rules, I have to accept the decision and will accept it in good faith.”
He insisted that there were no sour grapes on his part. “All I want is fairness and to make sure that justice is being done all around and that there is no doubt in anybody’s mind at the end of the day that the decisions that the stewards reached are the decisions that should be made, I will abide by those decisions,” he commented.
The Englishman said he had no beef with the husband and wife team of Derek and Gay Smith, whose horse, Zoom, has been awarded the glittering Gold Cup trophy and the $115 000 first prize.
“I don’t want to discredit the people who were awarded the race. It has nothing to do with them. They are good sport,” he said.